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In Question Time today .....


old man emu
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I was watching Question Time in the Senate yesterday and a Government member was answering Dorothy Dixers from her own members. While the camera was on her, I was watching a member in the seat behind obviously writing something and making a stack of what she had been writing on. I watched for a while then identified what was being written on as Christmas cards.

 

Now I wouldn't mind if a member was dealing with matters for which they were elected whilst enduring Question Time. But to be signing Christmas cards!  I object to be paying someone a base level of $211,250 p.a. to be spending their time attending to private, and no doubt re-election, matters.

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2 hours ago, old man emu said:

I was watching Question Time in the Senate yesterday and a Government member was answering Dorothy Dixers from her own members. While the camera was on her, I was watching a member in the seat behind obviously writing something and making a stack of what she had been writing on. I watched for a while then identified what was being written on as Christmas cards.

 

Now I wouldn't mind if a member was dealing with matters for which they were elected whilst enduring Question Time. But to be signing Christmas cards!  I object to be paying someone a base level of $211,250 p.a. to be spending their time attending to private, and no doubt re-election, matters.

My guess would be Christmas cards to staffers. She might have left it a bit late and had to finish them to hand out before everybody went home for the break.

Edited by willedoo
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Writing xmas cards is probably a far better use of taxpayer's money than paying any attention to Dorothy Dixer's.  They are truly a waste of time.  There should be a rule against asking questions of your own party members - anything you want to thrash out with them should have been done in the party room or cabinet.  

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1 hour ago, Marty_d said:

There should be a rule against asking questions of your own party members - anything you want to thrash out with them should have been done in the party room or cabinet.  

I like it that when the question came from the opposite side of the house, you could see that the responder was speaking "on their feet", but in answer to the Dorothy Dixer, the responder seemed to be reading a prepared speech.

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Questioning your own party is a mechanism for releasing information (propaganda) to the public.

 

How do I tell the public about what we are wasting money on next? I know, I'll get Fred from the bush to ask a question about it. Perfect intro.

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The thing that annoys me most about Question Time, Mr. Speaker, is how the person answering a question, Mr Speaker , stops at the end of EVERY phrase, Mr Speaker, turns and says "Mr. Speaker", Mr Speaker. It's as if Mr Speaker were about to nod off, Mr Speaker, and I wouldn't blame him.........Mr Speaker.

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2 hours ago, red750 said:

The thing that annoys me most about Question Time, Mr. Speaker, is how the person answering a question, Mr Speaker , stops at the end of EVERY phrase, Mr Speaker, turns and says "Mr. Speaker", Mr Speaker. It's as if Mr Speaker were about to nod off, Mr Speaker, and I wouldn't blame him.........Mr Speaker.

Me Speaker, on a Point of Personal Clarification, the frequency of addressing your good self, Mr Speaker, is simply, if I may say so, Mr Speaker, a more respectful way, Mr Speaker, to umm and arr while the Honourable Member, Mr Speaker, attempts to gather the words to dig the member out of a political hole.

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The protocol is everybody addresses the others through the speaker. The speaker gives the person speaking, the "floor" and when His/Her time has expired or someone is making a point of order., withdraws it and also disconnects the microphone if appropriate. He can instruct anyone including the PM, to resume his seat..That means in effect, He shuts up..   Nev

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So what you are saying, is that like so many other things relating to politicians, 'Mr Speaker' is never the actual speaker. His job is not to make speeches.

Mr Speaker is more like a 'Mr You cant Say That' , or maybe 'Mr Get back to Topic' ?

 

I can see a John Cleese routine there...

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The Speaker runs the meetings of the House much like a chairperson would. The Speaker makes sure the rules of the House—the standing orders—are obeyed, so the meeting can run in an ordered way. For instance, standing order 65(a) states that "A member wishing to speak shall rise and, when recognised by the Speaker, address the Speaker." This means members must address their remarks through the Speaker at all times, which shows respect for the role of the Speaker in running parliamentary proceedings.

 

The first recorded use of the term "speaker" was in 1377. The name "speaker" comes from early times in the House of Commons of England. "Mr Speaker" was the Member of Parliament chosen to speak for them to the king. In earlier times when the king was very powerful, he would usually only call the parliament together in order to get it to agree to new taxes. The speaker would report parliament’s decisions to the king. This was dangerous if it was not what the king wanted to hear. It was not uncommon for early speakers to be beheaded, with another being "murdered". This has led to the modern symbolic show of refusal by a member on being elected speaker. In early days a member’s struggle to avoid being forced into the chair could have been completely genuine. In Australia the tradition is continued by the act of the new speaker being escorted to the chair.

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4 hours ago, red750 said:

So much hogwash and poppycock.

Yes, we see it as that because the Speaker is usually selected from the majority party, so we know that there is bias against non-majority members in the rulings from the Speaker's Chair. Looking at the list of persons "named" by the Speaker, which can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_(parliamentary_procedure) it's easy to see that bias very clearly.

 

In the Australian House of Representatives, the procedure to name members is under Standing Order 94. Under Standing Order 94a, the Speaker can order the immediate removal of a member for one hour, which is not open to a division.

 

If a member is named under Standing Order 94b, the removal is dependent on a vote. If a member is named, the Speaker declares, "I name", followed by the Electoral Division of the member. Then the Leader of the House moves the question: That the member for (division) be suspended from the service of the House. If the vote passes by a simple majority, then the member is required to leave the house for 24 hours.

 

You can see that if a member of the majority party was named by the Speaker under 94b, then there would be a lot of hands underneath bums (and you can take "bums" both ways)

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One reason for the speaker to be a member of the non governing party is if there is a very small majority it will be a member of the opposition. reason being that the speaker does not vote, so for the party he is a lost member.

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